Sunday chuckles

February 28, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:

😀


Congress, Obama renew Patriot Act

February 28, 2010

Funny, I thought this was another of the evil BushChimpHitler’s attempts to destroy our civil liberties by playing on our racist fears. Yet the enlightened progressives who now govern the nation renewed it without any changes:

The House approved the bill 315-97 on Thursday, a day after the extension passed the Senate.

The provisions, including roving wiretaps, records access and tracking terror suspects not affiliated with any group, were set to expire on Sunday. Democrats opposing the extension were unable to add desired civil-liberties protections.

The Patriot Act was first passed by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a defense mechanism against terrorists.

Back then, the Left was screaming as if the Patriot Act had authorized an American Gestapo; I can recall the American Library Association practically wetting itself in hysteria over a provision that allowed the government to subpoena records, something that civil lawyers have been able to do for ages. That and other provisions of the Patriot Act that constituted reasonable measures in a time of war and terrorism became the focus of endless political demagoguery and histrionics.

So, its reauthorization has lead to similar protests, right? No. As Susan Anne Hiller points out at the article linked at the top, the mainstream media and the Left (but I repeat myself) are dead silent:

The House and the Senate, behind the scenes of the healthcare fervor, quietly passed this bill with little oppostion and outrage. Democrats could have modified the Patriot Act, but didn’t.

(…)

The Democrats had the numbers to make changes, but another civil war would have ensued.  In addition, it appears that when these controversial legislative pieces are passed by the Democrats, it makes it all better.  No more outrage from the MSM and the far-left, because the rules of war and engagement are clearly different because, you know, the Democrats are in charge.

In other words, “that was then, this is now.”

Waiting


The Machiavellian Clintons?

February 28, 2010

Are Bill and Hillary (and their vassals) deliberately trying to bring down Barack Obama and the Left wing of the Democratic Party? Tom Bowler at Pajamas Media thinks so, and he presents an interesting argument based on an odd inconsistency in the behavior of Bill, himself, and the writings and urgings former (?) Clintonistas:

It’s bizarre. Why does President Obama insist upon driving public option health care legislation through Congress when voter opposition to it is at an all-time high?

Unhappiness with Obama and the other leading Democrats is so high that a national tea party movement has virtually brought the Republicans back from the electoral grave. The president’s job approval numbers have been in a year-long slide. In almost every election since he took office, Democrats have gotten trounced.

Yet he continues to push extraordinarily unpopular policies. Could it be the advice he’s been getting?

In the face of this disastrous performance by President Obama and the Democrats, the Clinton team has been actively advising that they keep doing what they’re doing. It’s as if Bill Clinton has just discovered that his beloved party is firmly in the clutches of the extreme left, and he’s decided to encourage their leaders to drive themselves into the proverbial ditch.

First there’s the behavior of the former President himself: in 1994, in the wake of a crushing defeat in the midterm elections grounded largely in the public’s rejection of his own administration’ statist health care plan, Bill tacked to the Right and became a moderately successful centrist president. Yet, when the public is again rejecting a statist takeover of health care, Clinton pushes his party’s now far-Left leaders to go to ramming speed.

Then there are the actions of former top aides to the Clintons. Lanny Davis, the former President’s “fixer” during his sex scandals, has laid the groundwork for attacking the Progressives and a return toward centrism. James Carville pushes the administration and the congressional leadership to continue blaming George W. Bush for everything, a tactic the public has grown tired of and something that diminishes the credibility of those who use it. Meanwhile, others echo Bill Clinton by urging the Democrats to pass the health-care bill, even by using reconciliation, even though all polls show the public hates the idea.

Cui bono? To whose benefit is this? Bowler argues that the Clintons are baiting their rivals into a trap, paving the way for Hillary to run for President in 2012, when she can present herself as the moderate, pragmatic savior of the party, rescuing it from the demagogic clutches of Obama, Pelosi, and the hard Left.

Bowler may be right, though it sounds like something out of a political thriller novel. But there’s no doubting that Lady Macbeth Hillary wants desperately to be President, and that Bill himself wants to return to the center of power. He is one of the great players of Survivor: Politics Island, and this could be his way of getting back into the game. And don’t forget the revenge angle: during the last campaign, Team Obama beat Bill Clinton, effectively playing the race card against him and neutralizing his efforts for Hillary. Encouraging the progressives’ worst instincts as they head for that cliff might well be his form of payback.


Like leaving a satyr to guard a brothel

February 26, 2010

President Obama has appointed SEIU head Andy Stern to his “deficit reduction commission:”

The president also appointed Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and former Young & Rubicam Brands CEO Ann Fudge for the panel, to serve on the panel.

“I am proud that these distinguished individuals have agreed to work to build a bipartisan consensus to put America on the path toward fiscal reform and responsibility,” Obama said in a statement announcing the appointments. “I know they’ll take up their work with the sense of integrity and strength of commitment that the American people deserve.”

Oh, please, Mr. President. If you’re going to play the tool and pay off your union allies, don’t insult our intelligence at the same time. Stern doesn’t give a damn about responsible fiscal policy or even the workers he supposedly represents: he wants the Fed to spend money in ways that help him build his corrupt union empire.

Are even Chicago politics this brazen?

RELATED: More on Stern and the SEIU’s corrupt activities. This bunch of corporatist thugs would fit right in with Mussolini’s Italy.

BTW: The whole concept of a “deficit reduction commission” is a pathetic joke. We already have one – it’s called the United States Congress, and it’s about time they started doing their jobs.

(via Hot Air)


Liberalism Exposed: Beyond the Elitist, Preening America-Hating Stereotypes

February 26, 2010

PJTV’s Andrew Klavan shines a light* the progressive mind:

Rolling on the floor

*(Carbon-neutral, of course)


If only Il Duce were here!

February 25, 2010

David Axelrod has a dream. Sadly, we instead live in a democracy.

Maybe he and Tom Friedman should start a club …or a Bund.


The global warming scam in action

February 25, 2010

How to lay off hundreds of people, end a nation’s steel industry, do nothing to clean up the environment, and make-off with a billion UK Pounds, all with British Government approval.

This is where the junk science religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming has very real and very harmful effects.

(via Climategate)


Obama’s Nanny Care Insults the American Spirit

February 25, 2010

That’s the title of a great article at Townhall by Michael Barone. Here’s an excerpt:

You are victims. You are helpless against the wiles of big corporations and insurance companies, and you need protection. You need the government to take over and do things you cannot do for yourself.

That is the thinking of what David Brooks calls “the educated class” that favors the Democrats’ health care bills. Members of this elite spout tales of woe of people denied coverage or care with the implication that there but for the grace of government go you. So sign on, and the government will take care of everything.

He then goes on to point out that Americans have traditionally rejected big government programs that provided no link between work and reward, because Americans see themselves as active agents, not dependent victims:

Bill Clinton recognized this when he signed welfare reform in 1996. Clinton worked his way up in Arkansas, a state with a highly unequal income distribution, with a few very rich families — the Waltons, Tysons, Stephenses — and many people with modest incomes. But polling shows that the Democrats’ health care plans are overwhelmingly unpopular in Arkansas, even more than nationally.

Barack Obama, who has chosen to live his adult life in university precincts, sees Arkansans and Americans generally as victims who need his help, people who would be better off dependent on government than on their own. Most American voters don’t want to see themselves that way and resent this condescension.

And that’s why this health care reform has been stalled: not because of Republican obstructionism, but because a vast and growing majority of Americans reject nationalized health care and don’t want the government as their caretaker.

Well-worth reading in full.


About that whole “equality thing”

February 24, 2010

Why are the DC Police enforcing sharia law and gender discrimination?

Some women who protested at the Islamic Center of Washington, wanting to be able to worship in the main prayer hall with their male counterparts, were asked to leave by the police. But they say their struggle will continue.

Carpets with intricate designs cover the floors of the main prayer hall and turquoise tiles line the walls. But the source of contention is a small room created with seven foot high wooden walls. Jannah B’int Hannah describes how she feels in there where she cannot see the imam, or leader of the mosque, speak.

“Boxed in, stifling, suffocating and totally a second class citizen,” says Hannah.

Over the weekend, Hannah and approximately 20 other women prayed in the main hall, but D.C. police were called. They asked them to leave or be arrested.

So, I guess all those “old boys’ clubs” can start barring female members again? And since when does a police force in the United States get involved with enforcing religious law? I suppose they can say they were reacting to reports of a disturbance, but the threat of arrest should only come if the women were in some way violent or threatening. As it stands, it looks like they were engaged in that age-old custom of democracy, protesting peacefully for equal treatment, freedom of worship,  and against discrimination – in this case, Islamic gender apartheid (and a hot, stuffy room).

Maybe that’s what the imam really didn’t like and so he used the law enforcement agency of a democracy to restore that discrimination.

Long live the cultural jihad.

(via Jihad Watch)

RELATED: Maybe the imam though he was in Saudi Arabia, where a religious scholar says those who advocate ending sexual segregation should be killed.


I bought beachfront property in the Sierras for nothing

February 23, 2010

In the latest of a series of predictions that haven’t worked out and sloppy science exposed, it now turns out that President Obama won’t have to heal the planet after all… because the seas aren’t rising:

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study “strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results“. The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper’s estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.

In other words, “We don’t know what went wrong, just that the previous work was total bollocks.”

RELATED: In the wake of Climategate revelations at the UAE’s Climatic Research Unit, the IPCC, and now NASA, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), is calling on the Department of Justice to open an investigation. While I think it would be far more warranted than their witch-hunt against Bush Administration lawyers and CIA interrogators, I somehow doubt the DOJ under President Obama and his Attorney General will jump on this.

ASIDE: Note that the link to the quoted story is to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which leans hard to the Left. This is yet another example of how the European, Australian, and Indian press, even those favorable toward climate alarmism, are doing a far better job covering the growing scandals than the mainstream American press, which itself is maintaining a deafening silence. It’s nothing short of ethical corruption and journalistic malpractice.

(via Fausta)

UPDATE: According to Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent Socialist-Vermont), AGW skeptics are no better than Nazis. Is that the same as being a traitor to the planet? And do I get a cool uniform?


This is no way to fight a war

February 23, 2010

With the enemy in their sights, Marines in Afghanistan have to consult with lawyers before opening fire.

No, I’m not jokingDoh

(via Hot Air)


Wait. I thought we were intolerant knuckledraggers?

February 23, 2010

Conservatives booed an anti-gay bigot off the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week.


Religion of Tolerance and Misogyny watch

February 22, 2010

In Pakistan, four brothers beat their sibling unconscious because he refused to convert to Islam:

The four older Muslim brothers of a 26-year-old Christian beat him unconscious here earlier this month because he refused their enticements to convert to Islam, the victim told Compass.

Riaz Masih, whose Christian parents died when he was a boy, said his continual refusal to convert infuriated his siblings and the Muslim cleric who raised them, Moulvi Peer Akram-Ullah. On Feb. 8, he said, his brothers ransacked his house in this Punjab Province town 233 kilometers (145 miles) southwest of Islamabad.

“They threatened that it was the breaking point now, and that I must convert right now or face death,” Masih said. “They said killing an infidel is not a sin, instead it’s righteousness in the sight of Allah almighty.”

Masih begged them to give him a few minutes to consider converting and then tried to escape, but they grabbed him and beat him with bamboo clubs, leaving him for dead, he said.

Now, it’s true that the Qur’an (2:256) warns against compulsion (forced conversion):

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

(More commentary)

But Islamic apologists who cite this verse always seem to forget the doctrine of abrogation, in which later revelations supersede older ones. Thus the following verse (Qur’an 8:39) supersedes 2:256 because it is a later revelation:

And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.

(More commentary)

“Them” includes Christians and Jews, because they were originally given Islam by Allah and his prophets, but corrupted the message. Thus, Riaz’s brothers were justified in their minds in demanding he convert and attacking him when he refused, in obedience to many injunctions in the Qur’an and the hadith (sayings of Muhammad), of which 8:39 is just an example.

Oh, I almost forgot. The misogyny part of this: In return for converting, Riaz was offered many things, including his choice of a woman. In other words, she would be nothing more than a reward, like a car or a house.

Might as well stick a price tag on her and sell her.

(via Jihad Watch)


Global warming advocacy training film?

February 21, 2010

Maybe I should avoid getting into arguments with true believers….

Chicken


An apology makes everything better

February 21, 2010

For reasons only he knows, 17-year old Robert Barnes raped and murdered his good friend, 16-year old Meghan Landowski:

No one knows what got into him that afternoon in April of 2008. But he broke into Meghan’s house while no one was home and waited for her to get home from school. As she walked in the door, he attacked.

He duct taped her mouth shut and taped her arms behind her back. Then he raped her before stabbing her 40 times — a dozen of those wounds came after she was already dead. He left her bleeding with her pants down on the kitchen floor, the pool of blood spread 10-feet wide.

Father Chris Shortt was the first to find her. “I walked in and the front door was open,” he testified. “I stepped forward and I saw her laying there. She was white, like a China doll. Then I noticed her throat. I’d rather not say what that looked like because my wife still doesn’t know.”

A horrific crime, and I can honestly say that I’m sorry his juvenile status apparently prevented the prosecution from seeking a death penalty.  If ever a criminal deserved trial as an adult, with the punishment meted to an adult, it is Robert Barnes. But what jumped out at me and prompted this post is the following:

In court, he apologized to the family.

Oh, gee, I’ll bet that made the family feel so much better. “I’m sorry Mr. & Mrs. Barnes, that I raped and tormented and tortured your girl, reducing her to crying terror and misery, begging me to stop, until I finally slaughtered her like a pig. And, oh, sorry, dude. It was rude of me to leave her on the floor like that for you to find. Apology accepted?”

What is it with the modern obsession with apology? An apology for stealing a toy or some food is one thing; it’s one way we teach our children right from wrong, and the property gets restored or replaced. But an apology for rape and murder? What good does that do? Does it somehow make the parents feel any less devastated over their loss, or alleviate the feelings of guilt they must feel for not being there to protect her? Does it give her back her life? I honestly don’t know how Meghan’s parents found the strength to sit there and listen to Barnes, yet not grab for a deputy’s gun to shoot him dead.

I’m sorry,” Barnes said.

To hell with apologies.


Sunday Book Review: 1776

February 21, 2010

I’ve just finished reading David McCullough’s 1776, which tells the tale of the critical year of the American Revolution, from the Siege of Boston to the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, largely through the eyes of the nascent American Army and its commander, General George Washington.

While I love reading History, there’s been a decided lack in my education when it came to Colonial America and the Revolutionary period. That, frankly, is due to the miserable way it was taught in junior and senior high school; nothing could have been more boring. And that’s a shame because the conflicts and struggles that lead to our independence comprise a fascinating story, one that was crucial to the subsequent history of Humanity.

So, I set out several years ago to fill that lack; 1776 is the latest effort.

McCullough’s work is the story of the campaign during and following the Siege of Boston. While that ended in an American victory with the British evacuation, the subsequent tale was one of almost unremitting defeat and misery. New York City was foolishly defended and then lost in a series of battles at Brooklyn, upper Manhattan Island, and White Plains, in which the small Continental Army was almost destroyed. (Had British General Howe shown more initiative, perhaps he would have caught Washington and ended the Revolution. One of the great What-Ifs of History.) Pursued across lower New York and into New Jersey and Pennsylvania, suffering from a nearly shattered morale and plagued by desertions and refusals to reenlist, the Americans survived to score what can justifiably be called miraculous victories in the freezing cold of December and January at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey. In the wake of those battles, General Howe ordered his troops into winter quarters. The Continental Army had survived its most parlous year.

Over the course of McCullough’s narrative, we meet characters of the drama on both sides, such as General Nathanael Greene, the Quaker turned soldier who may have been the best general on our side, to the wretched Lord Rawdon, who thought the increasing number of courts-martial for rape during the New York campaign was proof of the British Army’s improving spirits.

Central to the story, however, is George Washington himself. Portrayed as an amateurish and inept strategist and tactician (Washington had never commanded an army before) whose mistakes and indecisiveness in New York nearly cost us the war, it was the strength of his character more than anything that kept the army together during its worst days. Devoted to the men under his command and to the cause, itself, Washington inspired almost instant loyalty bordering on devotion from his officers and troops. His perseverance in the face of defeat after defeat may have been his greatest quality, enabling him and his troops to carry on until fortune finally turned their way.

McCullough tells his story well, often quoting from diaries and letters from officers and soldiers on both sides. This isn’t a tale of politics and diplomacy, but that of America at arms. He tears away the softening gauze in which time shrouds all distant conflicts to let us see through their own words the suffering of the Americans, Loyalist and Rebel alike, as war consumed both property and lives. We also see the bravery and loyalty of the soldiers of both armies, from General Lord Cornwallis’ nighttime crossing of the Hudson to attack Fort Lee, to the Massachusetts fishermen and sailors who worked miracles to get the army out of New York and, later, across the Delaware in a freezing storm.

With an extensive bibliography and myriad footnotes, 1776 is a good example of popular history at its best: an exciting story, eminently readable and accessible, even to those with only the merest knowledge of our earliest history. Highly recommended, and you can buy a copy at Amazon*.

*(Dear FTC, yes, I do get a few pennies if someone actually buys the book. Oh, the horror.)

RELATED: Today is Washington’s birthday; Power Line has posted a remembrance.


The Saudi pedophile chronicles

February 21, 2010

Yet another example of the deep misogyny of Islamic society: fathers selling their pre-teen daughters as brides to middle-aged rapists husbands:

The Saudis really need to get an infomercial out there — and the Nation magazine and other leftist sites that apologize for Islamic gender apartheid can feature it on their webpages. It would go something like this:

A Saudi sheikh dressed slickly in Saudi garb would be sitting confidently in a chair, looking into the camera with an excited smile. He would then begin asking, with earnestness and an encouraging tone:

“Are you a pedophile? Do you like underage girls? Would you like to rape one of them — or several? And get away with it? Even have it legally sanctioned? Then Saudi Arabia is for you.”

The screen then shifts to a shopping mall filled with niqab-covered women (only the slit of the eyes showing) walking up and down in front of stores. It remains unclear what message this is supposed to denote, but the camera stays focused on these shrouded women for about ten seconds. Then a warning appears that all infidels who are interested must first convert to Islam. This is followed by a phone number appearing over a black background, indicating a contact person who can be reached. A voice then explains that this person lurks within the Saudi religious police and that he will connect interested parties to Saudi fathers intent on selling their underage girls into marriage — a standard practice in Saudi Arabia.

And yes, it’s religiously justified. Nauseating.


Hitler gets bad news from Nevada

February 20, 2010

More bad news in the bunker, when Der Fuehrer learns that Senator Harry Reid doesn’t have much of a chance at re-election:

(via The Jawa Report)


The stimulus was a failure

February 20, 2010

The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell explains why:

There was a good moment taking down the attempt by one of the hosts to defend the New Deal. I’d like to see a segment that goes into detail why the Hoover-FDR policies failed. Until then, here are some books on the topic.


Friday funnies

February 19, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:

I gotta admit, the McCain joke cracked me up.